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Remarks at U.S. China Business Council/National Committee on U.S. China Relations Luncheon

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AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
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Secretary of Commerce John Bryson
Remarks at U.S. China Business Council/National Committee on U.S. China Relations Luncheon

Thank you, Muhtar.

On behalf of President Obama and Vice President Biden, it is an honor to express America’s warm welcome to you, Vice President Xi, and to the entire Chinese delegation.

I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year in this, the Year of the Dragon–known for strength, prosperity and good fortune.  

As the two largest economies in the world, our relationship has never been more important. 

The prosperity of people in China, in America, and–in fact–around the world will be affected by how effectively we work together–in years ahead.

So, today, we have both a great opportunity and a great responsibility to cooperate and lead together.

It has been 10 years since China joined the World Trade Organization. China has lifted hundreds of millions of its people into greater prosperity due to increased openness in its economy.

As a result of Chinese economic growth, U.S. exports to China have grown by almost 50 percent over the past 2 years. They exceeded $100 billion for the first time in 2011.

At the same time, however, our goods trade deficit with China grew–by about 30 percent.

The U.S. and China will succeed by working together to deliver strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

We can achieve that through: expanded trade based on adherence to global rules and respect for intellectual property; open investment in each other’s economies; and policies that support global innovation, fair competition, and a sound balance between consumption and savings.

We have our differences. But I believe we can find common ground and forge a future that will benefit China, America and the entire world.

America’s business leaders are counting on us, China’s business leaders are counting on us, and the people who wake up each day in cities from Boston to Beijing, and go to work to provide for their families–they are counting on us, too.

As a former CEO, I know that businesses and their workers are a powerful driving force behind stronger bilateral relationships.

Yesterday, I was able to join Vice Presidents Xi and Biden for a good dialogue with CEOs from both countries.

And today, leaders like all of you will continue to play a crucial role in leading the way to even broader cooperation in the U.S.-China relationship in areas ranging from global security, to energy and the environment, to health and education, and more.

To quote President Obama: “We welcome China’s peaceful rise.” Strong leadership in both of our countries has never been more important.

Vice President Xi oversaw economic growth in key provinces in China. He is widely known as practical, hard-working, and down-to-earth.

These attributes resonate strongly with all of us here in America.

Vice President Xi: We look forward to working with you. The future of our countries is bright as we continue working together to unlock the full potential of our industries and of our people.

A warm welcome to you and your delegation.